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#353985 - 02/17/11 08:07 PM Question to survivors about stress and distancing
sally123 Offline


Registered: 11/29/10
Posts: 54
Hi... what would I do without this site... THANK YOU in advance:
It seems that each time I come to peace with an issue, a new challenge arises. I can deal with the lack/non existent physical intimacy, but when the emotional goes and my bf talks to me like I'm a stranger and the man that I love almost disappears, I am struggling with how to react. The switch is almost tangible.
Is there anything that I can say or do in these situations that will bring him back? Am I supposed to just be patient with the new person and wait for the old guy to come back? It hurts me, and I want to wall up, but what good will that do? Right now he is dealing with a family emergency, and he pushes and pulls at the same time. I can't win. I want to be there for him, but he's being a jerk!! I get what is going on, but I guess I may be feeling the 2 steps back phenomena... Any suggestions would be so appreciated.

PS:In the back of my mind I just keep hearing, this is what you've signed up for... deal with it....


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#353992 - 02/17/11 09:22 PM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: sally123]
Mountainous Buck Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1626
Loc: Minnesota
Communicate, communicate, communicate.

I'm not sure if this relates, but I know it helps.

Know your needs, your boundaries, your limits, and your abilities.

What happens when "the emotional goes"? What kind of setback are you talking about?

Don't assume, ask questions of him.

I don't quite understand when you wrote "I get what is going on." Can you elaborate?

We have phrases to communicate around my house: "in my cave" is one of them, "bully bull" is another, as is "overeducated knuckle dragger". They all describe various parts of MY personality that helps lessen the tension and convey understanding and a wish for things to return to normal.

Communication is part of intimacy, and we survivors suck at intimacy. I am slowly learning, but it is difficult.

_________________________
We have to take responsibility for what we're not responsible for.

“It doesn't matter where you've come from,
It matters where you go" Frank Turner

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#354008 - 02/18/11 02:09 AM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: Mountainous Buck]
Friend2help Offline


Registered: 12/25/10
Posts: 39
WOW..can I totally relate!! My guy friend and I have not communicated in over a week and 1/2...before then for a few weeks..it's been off and on..and not pleasant..he has totally backed off...Instead of coming to me w/his problems..like he has done for the past 7 months..he posts stuff on facebook..so I can see some of what is up...he is getting some support from friends..but I feel SO left out..and I have written to him..but so far no response. I've asked if I can help..what can I do...and how I am here for him, if he wants to talk, vent, etc...
NOTHING yet...this just occured yesterday and today...

>>>>>Communication is part of intimacy, and we survivors suck at intimacy>>>>

WOW..M. Buck...ain't that the truth?!?!?...never seen it put that way...but WOW...does that hit home!!!

I said the same words..I miss the old "Bob"....where is he???..we used to have so much fun together, laughing, joking, etc....but he became so distant...Yes..there have been problems...BUT I understand...he knows how much I care..I keep saying so..I hope he comes around....YOURS, too Sally...hang in there..


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#354014 - 02/18/11 07:44 AM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: Friend2help]
sally123 Offline


Registered: 11/29/10
Posts: 54
Thanks for replies... I agree about the communication... I've read everything I can and my therapist helps me come up with strategies for communicating clearly and owning how I'm feeling in each situation. However, once he shuts out feelings he isn't even the guy that I can talk to or get through to at all. I told him last night that I really would like to be there for him, but that I was feeling distant or like he was hard to reach/prickly... He quickly dismissed me (in an almost robotic tone) in a very impersonal way. It's like he's talking to a stranger...it is hard to explain I think that survivors may struggle to understand our feelings/thoughts as much as we struggle to understand yours. So what I mean about "emotion gone" is that he is completely detached, there is no intimacy at all and therefore no connection and I feel like I'm just a random girl on the street that is disposable and that is hurtful and scary. I can handle not having the physical intimacy for long periods of time, but I can't sign up for the long term (and that's what I'm with him for) with no connection at all. So maybe the reason I write this is because this realization causes deep sadness. He's in therapy and is working hard. We have to figure out how to be in these moments... I like the nickname idea..
Again, thanks for listening, no one else can understand (or know) and I feel better just putting my thoughts out...


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#354571 - 02/23/11 12:56 PM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: sally123]
aloved1 Offline


Registered: 02/22/11
Posts: 65
Loc: Texas
Sally...boy can I relate!!! And to you as well, Friend2help! As a matter of fact, before reading your post, I JUST posted myself and it is entitled, "where do I go?" Because I would REALLY love to know where in his mind do I go? Outside of his episodes, he is so caring, so affectionate, and I can truly tell he loves me. But it is like night and day in and out of his episodes. He becomes very detached and communication at that time is out the door! Sally and friend, in reading your postings, I felt like I was reading my own story, and I am utterly grateful for this site to see that I am not alone. I guess what keeps me going is seeing the man that he wants to be. There has been progress but I know there is a lot of work to do. Like you Sally, I can deal with the detachment, but I always find myself asking every time...is he really coming back from this one? And yes it gets scary! He has come back every time, but he is currently in one and of course, here I am asking, is he coming back?? I wish you both the best of luck on your journeys and I would love to keep in touch with you. God Bless!

Vicki


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#354573 - 02/23/11 01:15 PM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: aloved1]
sally123 Offline


Registered: 11/29/10
Posts: 54
Vicki, ur post brings tears to my eyes as I feel we all share these common thoughts. Sometimes its very hard and scary. It causes me question everything. I too could have written your post. We are in a cycle where he distances, and as much as I (with the help of my therapist) try to get him back he's out of reach. Am I disposable? I pull away, not to be mean, but to protect myself I can not keep being hurt. I focus on myself and get my own space. Then he starts being sweet again, but it's hard to just pop back and open/loving. It is a horrible cycle. I decided to tell him yesterday that I couldn't do this anymore and we had to go see his therapist together to figure out a different way to communicate during these times. I need a strategy... He agreed to go together. That gives me hope that we can create better ways of communicating... I know we'll never make it without help. Bottom line is I need help. One thing that is hard is that we partners think and feel soooo differently that sometimes it's like you are speaking different languages... Its no ones fault, my heart breaks to think of his childhood pain, and I guess sometimes just sad.


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#354577 - 02/23/11 01:46 PM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: sally123]
aloved1 Offline


Registered: 02/22/11
Posts: 65
Loc: Texas
Disposable is such the term I've used to and time again. Am I disposable? It breaks my heart, too, of what they endured as children. And to top it off, when he had this happen to him, it wasn't like he had an otherwise nurturing home environment or upbringing to help him sort his feelings out. So along the way, it has been years of walls, detachment and other defense mechanisms. I'm glad to hear you guys are attending therapy. We did as well, even together during some sessions, and we learned quite a lot, even diagnosing him with PTSD. However, I do believe he had more work to do. The hope now is that he was so put out with himself on Sunday and wants to continue seeking help. Right now he is focusing on the Church and looking for ministries and people who can guide him on where to go to sort these things out. I tried telling him about this site, but he says one thing at a time. And I just told him I understand. It is such a difficult journey, but I've always had this little lingering voice deep inside telling me to hang on...and keep the faith. Because no matter how I am in his life, friend or girlfriend, I do want to see him free of these chains. Sometimes I wish there was a magic wand. The best of luck to you both, Sally. God Bless!


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#354717 - 02/24/11 05:25 PM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: aloved1]
worldscentre Offline


Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 36
Loc: Ireland
Reading your posts is like reading my relationship history, so thanks for sharing. As you might have read in my others posts we are now apart as the issues he's facing now he needs to do so alone. But I suppose one of my fears is if/when he feels able to be in a healthy relationship will he want that with me? Or will he want someone 'fresh', who wasn't there through the tough times so isn't another reminder. That's a big fear and no-one can answer it but him.
Best of luck to all in your relationships.


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#354772 - 02/24/11 10:27 PM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: worldscentre]
Dewey Offline
Member

Registered: 11/13/02
Posts: 140
Loc: the sunshine state
As a survivor, I might toss something into the mix. I hope it works for you. As tenderly as you can, you might try adding a little humor. I mean my gosh, we are only here on this planet for a minute and sometimes we all just take ourselves and our dilemmas too seriously. I'm not talking about laughing nervously because we don't know what to do or say. Certainly I'm not condoning making fun of anyone or changing a tough conversation with a joke. What I'm trying to say is, if I genuinely believe that you have my back and you won't spill my guts to the street [or your mother] and you really have my best interest at heart, then you have earned the right to call me back to the present. What better way to experience the "now" than a good laugh, for both of you? Certainly this is a fluid idea and not a one-stop remedy. Just maybe a little reminder to have some fun. Of course like I said before this level of communication would be preceded by statements like "I'm here for you, really, and I want you to know that your heart is safe with me" Then prove that statement by refusing to judge and by offering as much comfort and encouragement that you can muster. Keep going! Dan


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#354815 - 02/25/11 07:08 AM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: sally123]
Hopefulone Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/08/11
Posts: 117
Loc: Ontario
Originally Posted By: sally123
Hi... what would I do without this site... THANK YOU in advance:
It seems that each time I come to peace with an issue, a new challenge arises. I can deal with the lack/non existent physical intimacy, but when the emotional goes and my bf talks to me like I'm a stranger and the man that I love almost disappears, I am struggling with how to react. The switch is almost tangible.
Is there anything that I can say or do in these situations that will bring him back? Am I supposed to just be patient with the new person and wait for the old guy to come back? It hurts me, and I want to wall up, but what good will that do? Right now he is dealing with a family emergency, and he pushes and pulls at the same time. I can't win. I want to be there for him, but he's being a jerk!! I get what is going on, but I guess I may be feeling the 2 steps back phenomena... Any suggestions would be so appreciated.

PS:In the back of my mind I just keep hearing, this is what you've signed up for... deal with it....


Hi Sally.

Sometimes my 'turning off' just happens. Last Tuesday (two days before a T appt I was anxious about) I shut down so much that I turned into a zombie. I was mumbling and stumbling and I ended up just going to bed after supper. My wife worried that I was slipping into a deep despair...and my son was confused over what was happening to me because he doesn't know about any of this. My wife just told him I was tired and not feeling 100%. He's used to my depressions...so it wasn't a stretch. Anyway...Thursday, after my appointment, I kind of popped back into being myself. That's when I realized what I put my wife through for the past 2-3 days. She told me she counted my meds, woke up through the night to make sure I was in bed, etc. She had been panicked that I might take my life. In actual fact, I was just shutting down...my body shut down to combat the anxiety I was feeling over telling my T the details of my rape. So I was fine when the T appt was over (well, not fine...but no longer struggling with anxiety that was so strong it shut my body down). I think sometimes we close down as a way of self-preservation...and maybe the best thing for our significant others to do is just be there and wait for us to come out on the other side. I honestly had no idea what my shutdown was doing to my wife. I wasn't in my right mind. Nothing could have brought me back but getting through that appt. I was in zombie land with no way of coming back. I can't imagine how hard that is to deal with, but I really do think that sometimes you just have to wait for us to resurface. Hopefully, the good times outweigh the bad ones. I try not to go down those dark corners...try to consider my wife at those times and force myself not to retreat. But sometimes the body takes over and I have no way of combating the shutdown.


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#354843 - 02/25/11 09:59 AM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: worldscentre]
TwoStep Offline


Registered: 01/02/11
Posts: 31
worldscentre, I have had the same thought -- you are the only other one I've seen express it. I almost feel guilty for having it. Any survivor response to
that --?

Of course I want the best recovery for my BF -- but duh I am not so selfless that I wouldn't be miserable if I invest years into a relationship only to be replaced by someone isn't, as worldscentre put it, a reminder of tougher times. Then again, I guess that is a chance you take with any relationship (having walked on a 20 year marriage myself, maybe I answered my own question).


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#354844 - 02/25/11 10:02 AM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: TwoStep]
michael Joseph Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/11/01
Posts: 2719
Loc: Virginia
only thing you can do is love and support him

that is it

that is what would help

Love and Support

It is hard for everyone

_________________________
Standing together is so much better than hiding in the dark.
***I am a three time WoR Retreat Alumni***
The Round Table, Men's CSA Group, Monday 7:30pm CST, MaleSurvivor Chat

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#354852 - 02/25/11 10:33 AM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: michael Joseph]
Disappointed Offline


Registered: 08/11/09
Posts: 540
Loc: U.S.A.
Dewey,
What kind of humor? About his quandry??

Please elaborate!
D.

_________________________
Female.

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#354854 - 02/25/11 11:09 AM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: Hopefulone]
aloved1 Offline


Registered: 02/22/11
Posts: 65
Loc: Texas
Dewey, you have a very good point with your posting! We do go through the detachment, running, lack of intimacy, etc...and when we sense the weight is bearing too great, it's almost as if it's a "cue" to pop in a comedy. Now, it can't be when he's dead smack in his mood, but when he's more talkative and responsive, I've noticed it's what we do, perhaps to bring back some lightheartedness. And it's always good to hear his hearty laugh once again. No, it's not a problem solver, but it's a good 2 hours of taking the focus elsewhere.


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#354862 - 02/25/11 11:48 AM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: aloved1]
Avery46 Offline


Registered: 09/23/10
Posts: 1243
Loc: USA
Lightedheartedness and levity as a survivor is what I need from others including a special someone else.

I can go to extreme seriousness in a split second BUT, can be jovial if inspired.

I am single and finally at a point to "date".

Laying with a special someone and having fun is what life it about right.

Smiles to all,
Donnie

_________________________
aka DJsport

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#354930 - 02/25/11 10:19 PM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: Avery46]
worldscentre Offline


Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 36
Loc: Ireland
Twostep,
It means so much for someone else to acknowledge what I'm feeling. I don't mean to seem selfish, but all the time, worry, understanding and even humour I've given is for a goal. That being helping him to heal and for us to be happy, and is it wrong to have that goal? Yes I want him to be the man he yearns to be but is it wrong to also want him to be with me?
I'll never understand what he went through or is going through now, nor will I have the right words. All I can do is understand as best I can. Don't misunderstand me, I want him to find a safe place, a happy place but a little selfish maybe, I want to be there with him.


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#354933 - 02/25/11 10:39 PM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: Avery46]
sally123 Offline


Registered: 11/29/10
Posts: 54
Thank you everyone for your advice and validation. As I am sure you understand that it means a lot. I had a hard therapy session with my therapist where she asked if maybe we should take some time apart... that thought makes me so sad. I guess I have to learn to be grounded and feel safe no matter what he does, and really get that what he does isn't personal. I'm just not sure I can do it. My heart hurts. Perhaps in my head I put too much pressure on the relationship..I'm sure that I do... clock ticking...tick tock... I guess everyone comes to these cross roads... Dewey, we do laugh. I laugh with him like no one else, i love him like no other. Guess I'm gonna keep workin on me, cause I sure can't work on him! smile


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#354956 - 02/26/11 12:23 PM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: sally123]
Dewey Offline
Member

Registered: 11/13/02
Posts: 140
Loc: the sunshine state
Dissapointed,
Laughing or joking about someone elses pain? Gotta give that one a "no". Is it possible? I sat with a man during dinner at The Oprah Show that was very verbal and forthright about making light of his sordid past. This was not someone in denial either. He has come to a place of peace regarding some of it,and he might be crying his eyes out tomorrow, who knows? What I'm thinking goes more like this; while driving in the neighborhood that he was abused in, he suddenly becomes angry, scared or almost catatonic and detached. Somehow you realize what is going on, either because it's happened before or you ask him and he is able to communicate to you that he is hurting. So at this point, because you have his best interest at heart and he knows it and trusts you or really wants to, you could say something like "Pull over, let me drive honey, I want you to sit all safe and comfy in the car-seat. I'll take care of you. But remember, tonight, there's something I might need you to take care of for me. That is, if'n you want to, big boy"! Or perhaps he's been in a funk for a couple days and you are both frustrated actually. From the other room, you start speaking very loudly, talking to the ceiling." I am such a wonderful person, certainly without flaw, and I'm left to deal with these pesky little human children who simply must think I'm some type of vending machine. And is that a spider I see? And where are those servants anyway? I have a corn on my toe that I need filed. And how in the world am I going to continue driving a car that is already two years old"? At this point you peek your head into the room that you know he is in and say "Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't know you were here, you didn't hear me complaining again did you"? Yes I know this might sound like it borders on weird but hey, do what fits you and what works for you. Offer to give him a back rub and give slight tickle first instead. Hoping the best for all of us!

_________________________
I refuse to use my past as an excuse to not have a future.
My hero Dad; Trigger warning- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oi3Hyxuf5AE

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#354962 - 02/26/11 03:00 PM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: Dewey]
LandOfShadow Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 684
Loc: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Survivor answer here...

Safety is a key issue here. You might have a hard time understanding what I mean, but think about a young child who's terrified but has no way out. Simply put, we're kind of like that until we get help, and mostly, it's not at all easy to get help. 10, 20, 30 years alone doesn't make it better or go away. Patterns in place for years and decades get very automatic and hard to undo. But, certainly can be undone, no question.

My gf and I had this going on for quite a while. Something would look like the past, I'd get terrified and since I couldn't get away or do anything about it as a child, I certainly don't talk about it because that used to make it much, much worse back then. Keep the secret. So I kind of make it go away, yet it controls me. I play along being close, nothing-wrong-here, while I'm far, far away in a galaxy to myself. She'd ask about it, and I just felt "found out", caught, more unsafe. It changed when I could start to recognize my feelings and not make them "go away", face the terrifying past I'm reminded of and recognize the present is a **reminder**, not the past happening again. (PTSD flashbacky stuff, past=present). Then talk to her a little, if only to say, I'm triggered and need time apart for a while. Gradually say more. I'm happy to say we talk about all kinds of details and stuff for hours if she wants. No secrets about anything. Ever. Took a year or two.

Like Hopefulone says, it's a survival body reaction that's quite powerful and unconscious. Like, "fear of death" stuff. Weird stuff. Remember it's a child's coping skills here in essence. For him, I guess the thought of this therapy session and talking about "it", was enough to trip a major survival response. Once you're in that, it's kind of pea soup trying to understand or think or do anything except react out of terror. The reaction might well be quite hidden, covert instead of active, loud, and visible. Remember a child won't try to fight a much stronger, bigger adult. He knows that's pointless so he finds another way to cope.

My gf was SO, SO helpful because she didn't react much. (which would be alarming). She'd just quietly say how she felt and offer to listen (not demand answers) when I was ready. Very safe. Made it much easy to do that. And gradually I learned doing that (talking) actually helped calm both of us down.

Perhaps start small just trying to communicate that "something is up" and stop there. Make that goal together. Don't push for more. Too much. Maintain just that much contact through those times. Then grow from there into what is up exactly.

As I've posted elsewhere, I recommend male survivors talk to other survivors, not just friends and partners. Works much better.

_________________________
Et par le pouvoir d’un mot Je recommence ma vie, Je suis né pour te connaître, Pour te nommer
Liberté

And by the power of a single word I can begin my life again, I was born to know you, to name you
Freedom

Paul Eluard

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#354979 - 02/26/11 09:40 PM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: LandOfShadow]
Dewey Offline
Member

Registered: 11/13/02
Posts: 140
Loc: the sunshine state
LandofShadow, that is absolutely incredible stuff and very well put.

_________________________
I refuse to use my past as an excuse to not have a future.
My hero Dad; Trigger warning- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oi3Hyxuf5AE

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#354981 - 02/26/11 10:33 PM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: Dewey]
Disappointed Offline


Registered: 08/11/09
Posts: 540
Loc: U.S.A.
Hi Dewey,
Thank you for your suggestions. I'll try to incorporate them.

D.

_________________________
Female.

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#355263 - 03/01/11 03:27 PM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: Disappointed]
LandOfShadow Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 684
Loc: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Thanks Dewey. As a survivor, I would expect you'd immediately "get it". All too familiar probably.

So, Sally, worldscentre, aloved1, did you "get it"?

_________________________
Et par le pouvoir d’un mot Je recommence ma vie, Je suis né pour te connaître, Pour te nommer
Liberté

And by the power of a single word I can begin my life again, I was born to know you, to name you
Freedom

Paul Eluard

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#355281 - 03/01/11 07:28 PM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: LandOfShadow]
sally123 Offline


Registered: 11/29/10
Posts: 54
Landofshadow, thank you for your addition to this post. It helps a lot (as does dewey's) However, I'm sorry if I'm just spacing out after a long day, but I'm not exactly sure that you are referring to... can you please elaborate... this post has helped me gain tremendous insight, and I want to make sure I answer your question properly.... thanks!


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#355288 - 03/01/11 08:49 PM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: sally123]
LandOfShadow Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 684
Loc: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Thanks sally. You answered by saying it helped you gain insight. I'm glad it made sense to you.

_________________________
Et par le pouvoir d’un mot Je recommence ma vie, Je suis né pour te connaître, Pour te nommer
Liberté

And by the power of a single word I can begin my life again, I was born to know you, to name you
Freedom

Paul Eluard

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#355315 - 03/02/11 04:08 AM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: LandOfShadow]
worldscentre Offline


Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 36
Loc: Ireland
Landofshadow,
I think I understand a little of what you are saying, I guess it will take time to understand it all but I want to.


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#355316 - 03/02/11 05:08 AM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: worldscentre]
sally123 Offline


Registered: 11/29/10
Posts: 54
Well, I started this thread in an attempt to get closer, work harder, gain empathy... Last night I found out that he has been acting out by viewing enormous amounts of porn...I knew was an issue, but he has been lying to me...as I read the comments that he made on sites about women he likes...I felt so much pain... He Won't touch me, but makes the choice to indulge in this toxic behavior and who knows what else. I know that others on here have gone through more devastating revelations, but Like other people I feel so sad. I feel like such an idiot for trusting and loving...can't help but wonder what is wrong with me. More confused than ever, at this moment....as always thanks for listening...


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#355378 - 03/02/11 04:46 PM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: sally123]
worldscentre Offline


Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 36
Loc: Ireland
Sally,
First of all remember there is nothing wrong with you, nothing at all. You love this person and maybe see the good in him that even he can't see. I can relate in some ways, I was pushed away but discovered he was reaching out to other women, nothing sexual but trying to make himself happy from their attention.
Did you speak to him about what you found? It's so devastating when all you ask is to receive what you give and it seems so difficult. I hope you get through this and my prayers are with you, with everyone here who struggles and strives for happiness.


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#355382 - 03/02/11 07:35 PM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: worldscentre]
sally123 Offline


Registered: 11/29/10
Posts: 54
I guess the best thing that has come out of it all is that I HAVE to face reality that there are huge issues that I have to address with him with new boundaries and expectations....no more tip toe...no more denial... Its so hard to love someone but know you have to walk away to protect yourself (new territory for me)... Couples therapy soon... I hope for new strategy and insight...
No matter what I am growing as an individual, and I hope that I can make the best choices going forward...
As always thank you for listening and kindness!!!


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#355401 - 03/03/11 12:44 AM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: sally123]
LandOfShadow Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 684
Loc: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
I'm sorry Sally. Dang, it's got to be terrible. I guess I think you're a wonderful, loving, rather brave person that he's lucky to have, that is a major stabilizing part for his recovery. Idiot is about the last thing.

I've been in a support group with male survivors the last 2 1/2 years I started. (In Minneapolis MN... there was no group for this anywhere. What? 10th largest US city and there is zip). I've heard a lot, and after a while, it's just so clear how all these things we go through, are just predictable and natural results of abusive childhoods. I remember Oprah talking about her promiscuity after her sexual abuse too. A lot is the same. I say that so perhaps... perhaps you could see a bit that.. this has I'd guess NOTHING to do with you. Often, more established and intimate relationship feel more like the abusive one(s) so we avoid them. And something like porn, might be safer, or otherwise a stronger pull. I've certainly at times felt so negative about sex, my attractions, that I didn't "want to do something like that" TO my girlfriend. It seemed like hurting her. I asked her about weekly if I was hurting her for months before I could feel safe. Despite obvious assurances and actions I was "awfully respectful". It's victim, or perpetrator role. Sometimes nothing else. Either role is pretty horrifying. You learn what you were taught about sex essentially. What was he taught? Intense fear and shame reactions block the unlearning, and relearning of a positive lesson. Intense shame is like a red hot piece of steel. (I'm a metal artist so I know hot). If you touch it, you'll get away from it with everything you've got, instantly. Without thinking. You hopefully have no experience with shame like that.

I'm really glad he's in therapy. His therapist has considerable experience with men and childhood sexual abuse? He/she MUST. It's too specialized. Some will try to learn on the fly. Very risky to the client. Unethical as hell IMO. That's like a family doctor taking a crack at heart surgery for some fun.

I'm happy to say my gf and I have some WAY cool things going on in this department. I've learned some great sensitivity, abilities to issues she encounters, like all women it seems. Something good from it all. He can work through a lot of this with help, a lot of courage and effort.

I don't know if "understanding" helps. Or this helps you understand. Or what. You're a "vicarious victim". It's his abuser(s) who are hurting you, not him really. He's stuck cleaning it all up, and healing though. He has to take on that job absolutely. Life's not fair. At all.

Once again, I'm so sorry and sad to hear what you'd dealing with.

_________________________
Et par le pouvoir d’un mot Je recommence ma vie, Je suis né pour te connaître, Pour te nommer
Liberté

And by the power of a single word I can begin my life again, I was born to know you, to name you
Freedom

Paul Eluard

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#355402 - 03/03/11 02:30 AM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: LandOfShadow]
sally123 Offline


Registered: 11/29/10
Posts: 54
Wow Landofshadows! What a thoughtful statement! I'm so happy for your progress and relationship! He struggles to understand how I feel, and this lack of empathy scares me a little, I'm sure CSA related? He has amazing therapist and is working baby steps towards insight and understanding the different parts of himself... He's only been in therapy for about 6 months (after I first discovered the porn/deception). He gains baby step insight...and I know looking at his pain/emotions is extremely painful and scary for him, and I am so proud of him for that. He is an extremely intelligent man, but seems to have extremely limited insight into himself, or rather just doesn't want to go there if that makes sense. I guess I am the opposite: always searching. I'm assuming this is normal? If I ever I ask questions that connect dots, he just says "I don't know, I haven't gotten there". I brought this site up again to him last night, but I think that he is not ready to face just how he has been shaped by the abuse...I think too painful. Ur right I am not a CSA survivor, so as mush as I try to understand him, I will never fully grasp the pain... I wish he would come to this site and see that he is not alone, and feel the tremendous support... The isolation just perpetuates the initial secret and leads to more secrets and isolation, and I can see how this makes it impossible for one to live an authentic life. So incredibly sad. I know, well hope, the man I can see will make it out one day, but I'm not sure I can be on the roller coaster with him right now... This is such an amazing site and I can not thank everyone enough for the support and wisdom, such wonderful gifts in the middle of this sleepless night... :


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#355404 - 03/03/11 04:05 AM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: sally123]
worldscentre Offline


Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 36
Loc: Ireland
The effects of abuse are horrible and are longterm, but is there a point where you can say 'this is not the abuse, this is just that person being a mean person'? I know alot of my bf's behaviour is as a result of his abuse and he wants to be the best he can be for himself and those around him, hopefully that includes me. But when is enough enough? Or is that an individual thing?


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#355434 - 03/03/11 11:06 AM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: worldscentre]
LandOfShadow Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 684
Loc: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Thanks Sally. I've been down this road before.

Lack of empathy? Sure. How much empathy can you experience when a gun fight breaks out unexpectedly? He's in a survival mode quite a lot I'm guessing. It's normal for him like breathing.

You have to take care of yourself. Get creative perhaps. Somehow, I don't want you to leave him. Some here have talked about finding, creating someone to kind of have a certain intemacy with (not sexual I think) to get you through. A gay man to share and cuddle with? :-)

Here's what I think about talking to other survivors: http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthr...6864#Post346864

I guess I'd like to give you the hope that in a couple years, you'll have a completely different boyfriend who has a remarkable depth and compassion, who you have a very meaningful past with, shared experience. A man like that might be hard to find. Having an abuse history isn't all bad. Working through it can teach, grow you in wonderful ways. Not that I recommend it though.

worldscentre, ... horrible and longterm only until you deal with, and treat it. It's not a life sentence and believing that, .... makes treating it seem impossible, so you don't, so it never changes. Self-fullfilling belief. If you believe it's like a broken bone, you deal with it, it heals in time, and you just have a scar there. Lot's easier and better for everyone, though not easy. Many barriers to proper treatment, unlike broken bones.

I don't think like that about "mean people". Few people are intentionally mean, though I may experience them that way and stay away, not bothering, or trying to understand them. What would help you not experience him as mean? Avoiding certain situations? Understanding of some kind? Openness about his experience of the situation? Being "heard"?

Ok. I'm running on.

_________________________
Et par le pouvoir d’un mot Je recommence ma vie, Je suis né pour te connaître, Pour te nommer
Liberté

And by the power of a single word I can begin my life again, I was born to know you, to name you
Freedom

Paul Eluard

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#355471 - 03/03/11 03:00 PM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: LandOfShadow]
sally123 Offline


Registered: 11/29/10
Posts: 54
Landofshadow, oh my friend, I am not sure I can make it. I may have gone through this and done the hard work to grow, gain strength... And I may have just out grown him. Went to couples therapy today, and now he's mad at me for some reason but won't talk to me... Such a fun and unfair bull shit game. I wish I wish I hope I try I cry I cry...still end up in same spot...
Its ok, change will happen, or I'm unfortunately/fortunately ready to be loved smile


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#355478 - 03/03/11 05:03 PM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: sally123]
aloved1 Offline


Registered: 02/22/11
Posts: 65
Loc: Texas
LandofShadow...Thank you, thank you, thank you for your insight as a survivor, to those of us who live with and love them dearly. You and your girlfriend give us hope! I KNOW there's a reason why I'm not throwing in the towel. Because he shows HOPE too! Yes, it's been hard! SALLY123...I, too, have dealt with a dose of his promiscuity and wondered how much more I could take. But three things have helped me tremendously...seeing him WANT to break free of his chains and trying! Educating myself and learning that it is NOT personal and he does NOT wake up wanting to shut me out, etc. and finally, this SITE! Seeing that I'm not alone or crazy for dealing with these things helps me so much. I know he loves me, but he is having to learn to love himself. I will stand by as long as he does not give up. Again, thank you to everyone who tells their story on here. Worldscentre...yes you must take care of yourself, but in my honest opinion, he is not doing those things just to be mean. I don't believe that about any survivor. It is a long, draining healing process, but even the baby steps are so rewarding. Sally, World, and anyone else...I'm here for you. We are in this together. Land...thank you again!


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#355482 - 03/03/11 05:44 PM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: aloved1]
RecoveryReady1 Offline


Registered: 12/05/10
Posts: 433
Is everyone not on their own journeys.....survivors and their mates?.....
To have one group talking about and trying to heal the other seems very weird to me......The survivor blames the mate and the mate tries to heal the survivor and round and round we go.....
Why not focus on ourselves......we all need to heal .....
And the people in front of us are telling us something about ourselves. It seems so easy to find someone who we feel is not our equal emotionally or in their ability to give.....and then let ourselves off the hook......saying if this person were different or healed, then my life would be better......


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#355491 - 03/03/11 06:55 PM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: RecoveryReady1]
sally123 Offline


Registered: 11/29/10
Posts: 54
Just as an update to my earlier post...I have had today to reflect on today's events and I learned a lot about the "wall" (the distance) that we as partners feel... I wanted to say that as much as I hate the wall, as a partner I have to honor this wall as it is what helped my bf survive. If I start to view the distance, as Landofshadow put it, is a survival mode strategy then it is not as scary to me. Just another lesson that nothing is personal. Thank you all for insight and support!


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#355542 - 03/04/11 10:39 AM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: sally123]
aloved1 Offline


Registered: 02/22/11
Posts: 65
Loc: Texas
RecoveryReady1

If there is anything I have learned, it is that loved ones CANNOT HEAL a survivor. I cannot heal my partner. I'm sorry you feel weirded out by the support we give/find here. To me, it's about supporting those we love. Nothing more.

By the way, he has never blamed me for anything. As a loved one, he has told me he doesn't want to take me to his dark places. Since he told me about his CSA early on, I can understand this.


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#355556 - 03/04/11 01:04 PM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: aloved1]
LandOfShadow Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 684
Loc: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
That's SO SO true RecoveryReady1. Eckart Tolle says it as "Our partner's aren't there to make us happy, they're there to make us more conscious." So yes, get more conscious! What's weird though? You see partners completely wrapped up in a survivors journey trying to do it for them?

As I said: "He's stuck cleaning it all up, and healing though. He has to take on that job absolutely." Many male survivors, most perhaps, don't and I just want to kick their butts!!! Get to therapy! Talk! Running and silence are just hurting you now. Tear that ******** wall down now! You don't need it any more!

That ain't your job.

As a partner of a survivor, I have to wonder, What's in this for you? Why are YOU here? What's it telling you about YOU? You can only witness another's healing themselves. Participate, follow, but not likely lead.

Interesting perspective. I guess my therapist leads, or tries to because often I won't follow, but still I have to very closely follow on her lead. Lead myself. She gets $120 per hour on her path too! It's a highly skilled profession that you can't do.

_________________________
Et par le pouvoir d’un mot Je recommence ma vie, Je suis né pour te connaître, Pour te nommer
Liberté

And by the power of a single word I can begin my life again, I was born to know you, to name you
Freedom

Paul Eluard

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#355570 - 03/04/11 02:08 PM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: LandOfShadow]
twistedncrazy Offline


Registered: 03/04/11
Posts: 4
Female, 20 years of age 3 year relationship

yes very true counselors are amazing and very skilled at there perfession. i look at it like this. if my boyfriend was in a major health crisis i would leave it up to the doctors and surgeons they are the trained ones but of course i would be in the waiting room. hoping for him. and being by his side.
The probablem for me is my boyfriend confided in me about his abuse and has never told anyone else i now feel like there is a big weight on my shoulder. because i do not want to see him suffer and i want to encourage him to see a counsler but obviously don't want to push him to much. it should be his decision when he is ready.
I get the wall thing, he gets black out anger , and shuts me out. Im not perfect either and i always say as long as we are trying to better our selves than we do care for our own health and well being and that of are partners. then that is love. True love i realized is not about loving the good. but loving that person for everything they are. ?


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#355994 - 03/09/11 07:15 AM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: twistedncrazy]
worldscentre Offline


Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 36
Loc: Ireland
My bf used to quote a saying 'when you're in love the person seems perfect', but I said no, 'when you're in love you love that person imperfections and all'. And I have seen clearly and brutally that my bf is not perfect, neither am I! But I still love him.
I suppose when I mentioned about a person being mean, I used the wrong words, its more when a person does hurtful things. If my bf hadnt suffered abuse in the past would I be as tolerant of his hurtful behaviours? I cant answer that for sure, but perhaps not. The reason though I am tolerant is that he has acknowledged his behaviour, where it stemmed from and he wants to address it.


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#356387 - 03/13/11 10:53 AM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: worldscentre]
eyesforward Offline


Registered: 03/13/11
Posts: 92
Loc: Ontario
sally123
Thank you so much for starting this thread. Much of this has rung true for me. It does feel something (not good, but better?) to know I'm not alone either. We live together and plan to marry in the next 12-18 months.

There are times when my partner withdraws -- usually when there is something going on in his life where he needs to speak up or stand up for himself. I can only imagine this is especially painful for him when he needs to stand up for himself with me, the woman he loves.

Given his childhood experience -- thinking that as a 10-year-old boy, he had to bear the abuse by himself and tell no one under threat of further harm to himself or his family -- withdrawing makes *perfect* sense.

Knowing all this doesn't make it any less frustrating for me most of the time. Occasionally I respond to his withdrawal in a way that works. It seems the best combination has been compassion, steadfastness and humor.

Example: Withdrawals using involve him telling me he's leaving me because I should find someone better. I say "I get to choose who I want to be with. That's not your decision. Do you want to leave me? If *you* want to leave me because you'd rather be somewhere else on your own or with someone else, I'll support you." We usually circle back and forth on that a few times, then he tells me "You're crazy." Then I'll sing some song loudly, goofily and off-key. One that fits is Billy Joel's song "You May be Right" -- Lyrics of the chorus:
You may be right, I may be crazy, and I just may be the lunatic you're looking for. Turn out the light, Don't try to save me. You may be wrong for all I know, But you may be right.

(showing my age by being able to sing and quote that grin)

That said, I could have anything in this relationship, I'd *really* *really* like to support him to love the little boy who did the best a 10-year-old could do to get himself through. And, that's up to him.

So, in the meantime, I get to stretch my patience and compassion, and be creative in finding ways to
- connect
- be loving
- expand my understanding of my frustrations and resolve them effectively
- define my boundaries in the relationship and gently, lovingly communicate them.

And that's a rich, rich field -- for me at least. wink



Edited by eyesforward (03/13/11 11:22 AM)
Edit Reason: missed the MAJOR growth opportunity ;)

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#356465 - 03/13/11 09:41 PM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: eyesforward]
sally123 Offline


Registered: 11/29/10
Posts: 54
Eyesforward, thank you for your insight... I agree! I keep working on me... Ugh! I get frustrated with myself because I find myself over thinking lately,(trigger? Porn use? Distance? Me?) I have to stop driving myself crazy...all this maybe in an attempt to control/not hurt...this relationship is like self growth boot camp... I am grateful for this, but damn, it's been hard!! I continue to grow and hope to have your peace and wisdom. smile


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#356469 - 03/13/11 09:51 PM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: sally123]
eyesforward Offline


Registered: 03/13/11
Posts: 92
Loc: Ontario
Sally -- I have *moments* of peace and wisdom, as well as moments of teeth-grinding, hair-pulling frustration, and moments of despair "will we ever get through this?" I'm no saint. blush

One of the things I try to remember is that I'm choosing to be with him. I know that if I chose to be with another man, there would be some other issue or set of issues to deal with, maybe not his CSA, but there would be something. I don't think it would be better, just different. So I stay and love as imperfectly as I do and get to see glimmers of him loving himself. That's worth it.



Edited by eyesforward (03/14/11 09:26 PM)

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#356473 - 03/13/11 10:07 PM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: eyesforward]
sally123 Offline


Registered: 11/29/10
Posts: 54
You are very right...everyone has issues... It is so great to have this forum and know that I'm not alone and others understand... It's an amazing gift.


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#356537 - 03/14/11 01:42 PM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: sally123]
gussie Offline


Registered: 03/13/11
Posts: 4
Loc: Alabama
It IS an amazing gift indeed


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#356552 - 03/14/11 05:58 PM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: gussie]
aloved1 Offline


Registered: 02/22/11
Posts: 65
Loc: Texas
Yes, Sally, I agree...thank you for starting this thread! Before finding this site, and a little earlier into my boyfriend's and I's relationship, I thought I was crazy! On the one hand, I saw such a caring, loving, affectionate man. On the other hand, I saw someone who became withdrawn, pushing me so far away that I felt like i didn't know him at times. Eyesforward, I get what you're saying! It is a journey, and when you see strides taken, even baby steps, it is so rewarding. When you see someone you care about so much, who was so hurt at one time that it hurts you as well, WANT to break free of his chains, there is such a JOY and PRIDE in seeing that. We have a ways to go, no doubt. We are 4 years into our journey, and man oh man, it has been a tough one. But he told me so early and never denied that he didn't have "issues" or that it would even affect me, and that if I wanted to walk, he'd understand. But when you are blessed enough to see that person inside...that man who just wants to reconnect in a healthy way with that little boy...geez, I'm getting emotional just as I write this. Ladies, hang in there. We are a unique family and I am so grateful for this site and for getting to correspond with you all. Stay blessed!


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#356698 - 03/15/11 09:30 PM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: aloved1]
sally123 Offline


Registered: 11/29/10
Posts: 54
Aloved, I have felt pretty crazy lately... I think he triggers my hard wired response to run... but i cant do it...so I loop around in my own head, confusion...not fun. I popped out of my depression today felt ridiculous for feeling so low. It's an interesting dance. My therapist keeps asking, can you deal, what do you want?? I would normally agree with this thinking, but I feel like what is going on can not really judged like that... This is a relationship that no one can really understand, with exception of everyone here. I think that definitely adds to the anxiety... my best friend has NO idea what i'm going through... puts distance between us and adds more sadness and loneliness to mine. Ugh! i love him, and he is working very hard... I wish I could open him up so he could feel all the love I could give him. (i know he has to do work, but fun to smile at his receiving my love). The distance is hard when you can see and feel everything that you want/love/need dangled in front of your fingers, only to hide, and I really wish that my new MS friends were all around me, but ah... isn't the lesson that I am here for myself smile... and that what we need is inside all of us... wishing everyone peace tonight


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#356770 - 03/16/11 02:59 PM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: sally123]
aloved1 Offline


Registered: 02/22/11
Posts: 65
Loc: Texas
Sally123, forgive me if you have already disclosed this information. But if you don't mind me asking...how long have you two been together and how early on into the relationship did he tell you about his CSA? The reason I ask is because while it does feel like things have gotten better in time...albeit they've been tiny baby steps...there was a time I felt JUST like you describe yourself in your last entry. I, too, was at a point of seeing a therapist for MYSELF! Again, the only word to describe it is crazy! But one thing that took me a long while to understand and break myself of was the backing off thing. Back then, I would ask so many questions and try to "talk" him out of his mood, when all I was doing was backing him further into a corner. I totally understand that now. As hard as it is, all we can do is back off, but let them know we are still here for them. And you right. It's not like I could go to any of my friends and say, well we are going through this again because my boyfriend was such and such at a young age, etc. It just doesn't work that way. For one thing, they have confided in US! And we are to carry that as far as they want and not any further. Secondly, if no one has been there, it is just too hard for them to understand. Too many people want to say "snap out of it" and it just doesn't work that way. Sally, number one rule for loved ones...take care of YOURSELF! Don't lose yourself in this. But if you truly love him and if he is indeed working hard, stand by him. I have told myself that no matter how I am in my boyfriend's life, friend or girlfriend, I have become a part of this and I will always be here to support him, as long as he is trying smile Thank you for being here, Sally. I know we wish things were different, and in all honesty, wish that we didn't even know this site existed. But we are here, on this journey, for whatever reason. I wish you peace as well!!


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#356794 - 03/16/11 07:57 PM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: aloved1]
sally123 Offline


Registered: 11/29/10
Posts: 54
Aloved, thank you so much!! We've been together for over 1.5 years. around 11 months I found out he was abused after I discovered the porn addiction and said I would leave if he didn't go to therapy. I knew the porn was covering pain. So things started getting better, I worked on me being patient/not pushing (MS has helped answer so many questions!!) I guess the recent discovery of porn (relapse) has really kicked my more 'critical' voice to scream 'RUN, I can't believe your still here...ur an idiot...blah blah" I have been divorced for 4 years in very abusive man with narcissistic personality disorder and I started my own therapy at that time. I have been very careful to not forget about myself, and validate my own needs (I'm still working). So you are so right, I have to watch that I don't think more about him than me, and that is a life lesson for me. As you know, communicating my needs is so hard when for the most part is really doing the best he can. He is absolutely the man I want to spend my life with. I'm getting older (late thirties) and really want to have children. Its not a fair pressure to put on this situation, but it is my reality. I want it all smile my therapist wonders that with my own painful childhood and past that his issues may always trigger me and just be to hard. I'm not ready to quit...so to everyone here I hope I'm not a horrible broken record..sorry if I am. I hear all of you and feel ur support...thank you!!!!


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#356839 - 03/17/11 04:17 AM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: sally123]
worldscentre Offline


Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 36
Loc: Ireland
Hi, just reading the last few posts and can't believe how similar some of the situations are to my own.

aloved1, you said you are willing to offer support as a friend or girlfriend. How did you get to that place? I'm experiencing all kinds of emotions and even though I offer my support if it comes to us just being friends I don't know if I can be there. He has backed away because he needs space, his T kind of broke up with me! But I want us to find a way back.

Sally, I too am in my 30's and want children, etc. So while aiming for what I want I'm trying not to put pressure on him, but I'm sure he knows the things I want.

At the moment I don't get to see his steps forward or his breakthroughs, so it feels like I was the vessel. He disclosed, he hit a wall and started T and I was pushed away. I don't even have words right now, I can't explain the feeling. Outside of the abuse issues I have the usual relationship fears, will he find someone else, does he still love me, etc. But I feel I can't acknowledge those because its insignificant compared to the other stuff. It's like I'm dealing with two different relationships. I don't even know if I'm making sense.


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#356862 - 03/17/11 09:36 AM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: worldscentre]
NOLA Girlfriend Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/16/11
Posts: 16
worldcentre, you are making a lot of sense to me. I could have written your last paragraph verbatim. I am feeling very conflicted. On the one hand, I understand that he is in a crisis and desperately needs temporary relief from his "trigger" (which is apparently me as the partner upon which he is projecting his feelings about his abuser). On the other hand, I am scared to death that he will find comfort in the distance and decide that he'd rather be without me than work through this with me. So hard.


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#356876 - 03/17/11 10:25 AM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: NOLA Girlfriend]
aloved1 Offline


Registered: 02/22/11
Posts: 65
Loc: Texas
Sally and worldcenter...I'm in my 30's too! And not early thirties wink Sally, you come here and say what you have to say as many times as you need. That's what we are here for. Before I discovered this site, I, too, felt like a broken record to my one and only confidant...my mom. But she never made me feel like I was a broken record, thank goodness =)

worldcenter, you asked how I reached that point of support? For one thing, as I've said before, he did tell me and never denied the issues. But more importantly, it's because I have gotten to see WHO he wants to be. And because he works so hard! And progress has been made. Ladies, these men have issues with unconditional love. But it doesn't mean that they do not want to know it...to give or to receive it. These men have issues with trust. They trusted someone at one time and took a huge, life changing blow because of it. But it doesn't mean that they do not want to know trust again. Not only did my b/f have this happen to him, but on top of that, he had no support or love at home either. These are all things at age 39 that he's learning how to do. He wants these things, but it certainly will not be overnight! Heck, we are on our 4th year together and there's still lots of work to be done. But again, I've seen 'HIM'. The man that doesn't want to live with these chains any longer. I can't help but support him in any way that I can. Is it easy? No! Have I wanted to throw in the towel. Yes! But again, I'm in it as long as he's fighting!

You ladies also mentioned the things that you want...kids, etc. When he is not triggered, what discussions do you all have regarding this? Does he want those things too? If he wants those things and you see him fighting...but has setbacks, which are going to happen, then keep up the fight! The love and gratitude is there...they just may not be able to express it...yet wink


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#356880 - 03/17/11 11:04 AM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: aloved1]
sally123 Offline


Registered: 11/29/10
Posts: 54
Aloved, thank you. Ironic we are all in same boat... thank you both for listening. Aloved, everything you say is so true!!!
We have talked about a future together, and he assures me that we are on the same page... he is also 39, and did not know love, but has the biggest heart that I get a chance to see...
I know that one day is is going to do it... selfishly I hope that I get to experience this with him...

thank you for positive insight, brings me hope smile

wishing a happiness


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#356955 - 03/18/11 01:03 AM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: sally123]
hopeandtry Offline


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 476
Keep on keeping on, ladies. It's worth it as long as it's right. If you ever decide it's not right, that's another issue, but if you want to stick it out and you are taking care of yourself, then stick it out. I don't regret standing beside him.


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#356967 - 03/18/11 05:34 AM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: hopeandtry]
worldscentre Offline


Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 36
Loc: Ireland
We have talked about children and marriage and he does want that, but wants to be able to have a healthy marriage and life. I want to fight but sometimes I dont hink he wants me in the fight with him. I have supported him for so long and put up with the crap thrown at me and he knows this, so he feels its not fair to ask me to wait while he deals with things. I want to wait but I'm afraid this may add to the pressure he is already dealing with. And as I said on another post I fear that he may decide to move forward with someone 'fresh', someone who hasnt been there through the bad times and therefore is not a reminder. But I must have faith that our connection is stronger than that.
So Sally, your feelings are not selfish, I have them too.


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#356975 - 03/18/11 08:06 AM Re: Question to survivors about stress and distancing [Re: worldscentre]
hopeandtry Offline


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 476
@worldscentre, this sounds very much like what I've been through. I have told my ex that he cannot change how I feel about him. However, giving them space helps take the pressure off, and living your life (i.e. doing your own thing...hobbies, hanging out with friends, etc) while still maintaining contact to some degree seems to be a good balance for me.


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